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Competition is stiff, in almost every business vertical you can imagine. If you don’t have first mover advantage, then as a growing company you have few options to come out on top. This is why leveraging digital growth is important.
The following guide will give you an overview of the concepts, tools, and strategies you can use to grow your business digitally and compete with your competition on even ground.
To get you started on this journey it’s crucial that you understand the fundamentals and history behind modern online marketing. Marketing is defined as
“The action or business of promoting and selling products or services, including market research and advertising.”
Take note of the word ACTION, if you’re ready to grow then you should be ready to take action. The first action you can take is reviewing our Essential Guide to Online Marketing From Beginning to End.
Modern Digital Marketing exists to increase product awareness, reach a wider audience (worldwide), increase your physical and digital traffic, and every businesses’ favorite words “increase sales”.
The methodologies behind this modern marketing vary vastly from those posed by traditional marketing channels like tv, radio, and print. These traditional marketing venues provided businesses with a reach, but that reach often spoke to consumers that weren’t the demographic, interest-based, or even the correct target market.
For products with wide consumer bases (soft drinks and etc), this worked, but business is competitive and niche markets have taken the forefront of business. Digital marketing allows businesses to target these niches, in ways that were previously unheard of.
Current digital marketing has moved toward becoming a personalized experience, through the use of pixels and tracking analytics advertising companies such as Facebook and Google are able to learn about your individual preferences. This gives advertisers the ability to better understand your individual needs as a consumer.
By understanding your needs, advertisers are able to create custom personas that target you on a personal level, with adverts targeted at your interests and intentions as a buyer. Ever search for something, only to see it appear in ads on your social channels? This is tracking pixels at work, the pixels take in your data and provide advertisers with this data.
Once an advertiser knows you, they can begin bringing you through the buyer’s journey. A term that is highly popular right now is FUNNEL.
Funnels are meant to bring a cold visitor through a series of marketing at each of the buyer’s journey steps, which will eventually lead to conversion.
Funnels are compromised of three levels. Top of the funnel (TOF), middle of the funnel (MOF), and bottom of the funnel (BOF). Cold audiences start at the top, often interacting with the brand because of something that caught their attention. Once you have begun interacting with the brand, following their social channels, subscribing to their newsletter, or just visiting their site you become a possible warm audience.
Once you’ve become a warm lead, marketers will deploy a series of content or ads that will push you to become a hot audience and ready to make a purchase.
Ahrefs offers a great guide for Marketing Funnels for Beginners, if you’re looking to learn more on the topic. Keen to jump right in, GrooveDigital offers several paid & free tools to create your own funnels.
Already in business and looking to transition to grow digitally, you will need to take a holistic overview of your business and create a strategy that spurs online growth. A good place to start looking is From Analog to Digital: How to Build a Digital Foundation in 2019. In the article, we touch base on a number of topics ranging from having a digital mindset, initiatives to take, and developing a social media strategy.
Need additional resources? Visit our digital growth blog archive.
Remember in high school, when you heard about the “cool kid”? It almost seemed like they were a myth, with all the stories surrounding them. When you finally meet this person, you have an image in mind of the kind of person they are and what to expect from them.
The perfect example of this is Apple. Through time they have positioned their brand to become synonymous with quality. As a consumer, you’ve come to expect a number of things when you purchase one of their products. Because of this, you are more willing to spend extra money on a purchase from Apple.
This methodology is the same for your business, you want to be that “cool kid”. You want brand recognition when someone sees your products, meets your team or comes across your business online. Your brand should tell a story, convey a message, and entice your buyers to act now.
A good brand story is something that consumers can relate to, oftentimes on an emotional level. If you want consumers to love your brand, you need to create a connection with them. What do I mean by connection? You need to speak their language through your content, through your messaging, and through your storytelling. When they see your brand it should bring about a stirring of emotions.
In our article Creating a Digital Brand for New Business Owners, we provide a step-by-step outline of the items that can help you brand your business. Establish your name and build a noteworthy reputation, without your brand’s story it will be hard to stand out in the sea of cools kids.
Every good carpenter is only as good as the tools they have at their disposal. Without a hammer, how can they pound a nail effectively?
The same can be said about growing online, without the right tools how do you expect to grow. However, the tools a digital business uses are far different than the tools a carpenter uses.
If you’re a modern business that directly interfaces with customers, you need a website. A website acts as the focal point for all incoming traffic. A good site provides your potential customers with a complete overview of your business from services, questions pertaining to your business, educational resources, and support details.
Imagine your website, as your physical office. To get to your office there are roads, sidewalks, bike paths, and more. These paths are akin to your social channels, your blog outreach, your social mentions, and back-links. Starting to understand how important a good website is?
Of course, building a quality site is no small endeavor, there are a lot of things to consider from colors, fonts, brand messaging to content. If you need some guidance, ask yourself these 10 questions before you start building your website.
Or set up a free consultation to go over your business needs.
If you truly seek to grow, a website is only the beginning. Remember when we spoke about the “cool kid” above? Well, that cool kid had a cool look to go with his brand. This means graphics, videos, and all the latest tools.
We recommend creating a growth strategy that incorporates your goals, KPI’s, and analytics.
Once you have a strategy in place, you can begin mapping the tools you will need. The list of tools that a modern business has within reach is huge, for an idea of what’s out there (for free) take a peek at these amazing software and platforms.
When your business begins to grow online, a new set of challenges will present themselves. If your a growing business, then likely you don’t have the resources (human or fiscal) on hand to simply hire an army of full-time help. So how do you maintain your momentum, without sacrificing your digital growth?
Living in our digital world of ever-expanding possibilities, you have options to choose from, many of which are cost-saving.
The number one option to maintain skilled labor that won’t inhibit your growth, but won’t hurt your wallet is Remote workers. Remote workers are just like normal workers, except they work remotely without the constraints of geography. Due to the scale of economies, these workers have the ability to work at a lower cost than someone localized.
To make the use of remote workers even sweeter, you have the ability to negotiate a number of items. This includes hours they need to work, their rate, are they going to be contractual or full-time, what their job roles will be, and so forth.
The venues for finding these workers are many and far-reaching to every corner of the globe, so you should never have a time when you can’t find someone to accommodate a certain need. Whether it be highly technical or tedious and time-consuming.
If you’re interested in an in-depth resource to create your own remote team, you can reference our remote team guide. Among the people you hire, you will likely employ VA’s (virtual assistant) who come with a wide range of skill sets and cater directly to your businesses’ needs.
Be sure to hold effective remote meetings, to get the most out of your investment.
If you’re tech-savvy, automation is an option that will likely save you a lot of money and time. Automation is basically taking tedious tasks and using software or program to do it for you. Recently chatbots, have become mainstream.
Digi is able to tell our site viewers about our services, about our brand, answer questions, collect customer information, and act as our 24/7 customer support agent. This type of automation is invaluable to growing businesses and is well worth the investment.
Off the top of our heads, we can give you 8 Reasons, why you should invest in a bot. Other interesting automation that can be implemented is automated email marketing funnels, cart abandonment tools, and re-marketing campaigns.
As you read, you are likely subscribed to a number of brands’ newsletter lists. If they are good at email marketing, they likely have email funnels set-up that helps you onboard, tell you about their products, and just send you general information. They are able to schedules these emails, segment them, and understand who is interacting with them via email.
We use an email software native to WordPress called Groundhogg.
If you’re online, then you are on social media. There are various social channels you can use to market your business. With so many options to choose from, it can be hard to determine what strategy will work best. To better understand how a social media marketing strategy works, you can view our recently written Social Media Marketing Strategies for 2020.
Remember when it comes to marketing online, content is king, and consistency is queen. A good brand has ongoing interaction with their audience that’s engaging and eventually leads to conversion. Having a lot of likes is different from having extra money in the bank.
To spur growth, you should consider running ads as part of your marketing strategy. Every social media channel offers the ability to run ads to reach your target audience, however, a word to the wise ads can become a costly expense. It’s better in many cases to source this task to someone with experience.
If your bootstrapped and just starting, you can grow your brand organically. Although it’s tougher than running ads, organic growth has numerous long term benefits. To start growing organically, you can do the following.